Homemade Barbecue Chicken Fingers

Last week between getting over a nasty cold, nasty allergies, and other things, I was feeling pretty crummy for a couple evenings.  So NES made me fun dinners!  One night, he made his famous chicken and tortellini, but he added mushrooms just for me!  It was great!   And I really appreciated that he made dinner!

On Friday night, I wanted to surprise him with a fun dinner.  NES's all time favorite comfort meal is chicken tenders and french fries.  And after seeing this recipe for baked chicken tenders, I decided I needed to make them for him.  Perfect!
I did cheat a little and made sweet potato fries (because they are slightly healthier and my favorite), so his comment was that it was "almost" his favorite meal.  

I seasoned the sweet potato wedges with olive oil, ground thyme, paprika, garlic powder and salt.  I baked them right with the chicken, so it was perfect!  I just flipped them at the same time as the chicken.

I've never made homemade chicken tenders before, and I usually shy away from them, because I would want to bake them, and they tend to come out soggy.  These sounded so good that I had to try them.  

The secret is marinating the chicken in the barbecue sauce first.  I was able to stick them in the fridge before I headed to school for a talk, and they were ready to start as soon as I got home! 
They use the same breading system that NES and KEB use for eggplant parmesan, and  they were the crispiest chicken I've ever had!  It was amazing!  

Definitely a keeper!  

Baked Honey Barbecue Chicken Fingers 

1/2 cup barbecue sauce
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (you may need more)
1 lb. chicken tenders
cooking spray

In a large bowl or pan, mix the honey and barbecue sauce.  Cut the chicken tenders half lengthwise.  Add the chicken to the barbecue mixture and stir to coat.  

Cover, and allow to marinate in the fridge for 30 mins - 6 hours.  

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heavily coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In one shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper and paprika.  In another shallow dish, pour the beaten eggs.  In a third bowl, pour the Panko breadcrumbs.

Take each chicken strip from the barbecue mixture, and coat in the flour mixture.  Dip into the egg next, and allow any excess egg to drip off.  Roll the chicken in the Panko next, making sure it is generously covered.  

Place the strips onto the baking sheet, and spray each strip with cooking spray to "seal" the breading.  This is what makes the breadcrumbs bake into the chicken.

Bake for 10 minutes, then flip.  

Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the outside is crispy and the chicken is cooked through.  

Serve with barbecue sauce.  Serves 2-3.


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